4.4 20
by Bruce Springsteen

View All Available Formats & Editions

It's been over a decade since Bruce Springsteen has produced a record like Magic. The Boss likes to mix things up -- cutting solo albums or heading out with atypical musical conglomerations such as his Seeger Sessions band of 2006. But Magic is a return to songcraft and pop music, if not entirely free of the bitter political overtones that have


It's been over a decade since Bruce Springsteen has produced a record like Magic. The Boss likes to mix things up -- cutting solo albums or heading out with atypical musical conglomerations such as his Seeger Sessions band of 2006. But Magic is a return to songcraft and pop music, if not entirely free of the bitter political overtones that have characterized his work since The Rising. Recording with his loyal E Street Band, collaborating with The Rising producer Brendan O’Brien, fans are guaranteed a full-force rock 'n' roll attack that's in love with the music itself. Magic pays homage to rock forms from Phil Spector-styled wistfulness ("Girls in Their Summer Clothes" ) to insistent punk rock ("Radio Nowhere"), a satisfying blend that acknowledges the most personal, political, and rocking aspects of Springsteen’s musical universe. With old friends from Clarence Clemons to Little Steven Van Zandt onboard to shoulder the world-weary weight, this is the lightest Bruce record in years, escaping the nearly ponderous weight of the "event" album it is. Intimate and exuberant, it's a portrait of the artist once again discovering the simple joy of rhythm, rock, and soul.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Hailed as Bruce Springsteen's return to rock upon its release in fall 2007, Magic isn't quite as straightforward as that description would have it seem. True, this does mark another reunion with the E Street Band, only his second studio album with the group since 1984's Born in the U.S.A., giving this a rock & roll heft missing from his two previous albums -- the dusty, literary Devils & Dust and the raucous We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions -- and unlike The Rising, the first E Street Band album of the new millennium, there is no overarching theme here. It's just a collection of songs, something that Bruce hasn't done since Human Touch, or maybe even The River. All the ingredients are in place for a simple, straight-ahead rock album, except for two things: Springsteen didn't write a lot of flat-out rock songs, and with his producer Brendan O'Brien, he didn't make an album that sounds much like a rock & roll album, either. Magic is bright and punchy, a digital-age production through and through, right down to how each track feels as if it were crafted according to its own needs instead of the record as a whole. Underneath this shiny veneer, the E Street Band can still lift this music toward great heights, infusing it with a sense of majesty, but this is an E Street Band that was recorded piecemeal in the studio, pasted together track by track as the group fit sessions into their busy schedules. This approach gives the album a bit of a mannered, meticulous sound not unlike The Rising, but such careful construction was appropriate for Springsteen's cautious, caring 9/11 rumination; on Magic it tends to keep the music from reaching full flight. Then again, the songs here don't quite lend themselves to either the transcendent sweep of Born to Run or the down-n-dirty roadhouse rockers that cluttered The River. There's a quiet melancholy underpinning this album. It's evident even on the hard-driving "Radio Nowhere," whose charging guitars mask a sense of desperation, or the deceptively breezy "Girls in Their Summer Clothes," which grows more wistful with each passing chorus. "Girls" is also indicative of how Magic doesn't quite feel like classic E Street Band, even when it offers reminders of their classic sound: like "Born to Run," it trades upon Phil Spector, but here the band doesn't absorb the Wall of Sound; they evoke it, giving the song a nostalgic bent that emphasizes the soft sadness in his melody. This oddly bittersweet vibe that is shared by "Your Own Worst Enemy," whose baroque harpsichords -- uncannily reminiscent of the Left Banke -- are the biggest curveball here. That is, it's the biggest specific curveball outside of the overall feel of Magic, which is far too somber to be called just another rock & roll album. The solemn, sepia-toned picture of the Boss on the cover is a pretty big tip-off that there may not be a whole lot of good times coming on Magic, but it's a surprise that this is not only not as joyous as We Shall Overcome, it doesn't have as many moments of sunny relief as The Rising, which had "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" and "Mary's Place" among its quiet, artful grief. Here, the joy and the sadness are fused, skewing such otherwise lively numbers as "Livin' in the Future" -- which otherwise sounds like it could sneak onto the second side of Born in the U.S.A. -- toward the sober side. Springsteen also targets war and politics throughout the album, either through metaphors (the title track, where the audience is suckered by a con man) or blunt declarations ("Last to Die"). All this toil and tension doesn't make for a very fun album, but 2007 isn't a very fun time, so it's an appropriate reflection of the time. The thing of it is, despite some fine moments of craft -- both musical and lyrical, whether on "Gypsy Biker" or "Long Walk Home" -- the songs aren't written with the keen literary eye that made Devils & Dust play like a collection of short stories. Like the music, the words just feel a shade too deliberate, rendering Magic just a bit too overthought -- hardly enough to make for a bad record, but one that isn't quite grabbing, even if it is helped immeasurably by the E Street Band in old pro mode. And what's missing comes into sharp relief as the album draws to a close with "Terry's Song," a quickly written and recorded tribute to Terry Magovern, Springsteen's longtime friend and assistant. Compared to the rest of the album, this simple tune is a bit ragged, but it's soulful, moving, and indelible, immediate where the rest of the album is a shade distant. After hearing it, it's hard not to wish that Bruce would record this way all the time.
New York Times - A.O. Scott
There is a brightness of sound and a lightness of touch that are not quite like anything else Mr. Springsteen has done recently....The paradox of “Magic” may be that some of its stories are among the toughest he has told. The album is sometimes a tease but rarely a joke. The title track, for instance, comes across as a seductive bit of carnival patter, something you might have heard on the Asbury Park boardwalk in the old days. A magician, his voice whispery and insinuating in a minor key, lures you in with descriptions of his tricks that grow more sinister with each verse. (“I’ve got a shiny saw blade/All I need’s a volunteer.”) “Trust none of what you hear/And less of what you see,” he warns. And the song’s refrain — “This is what will be” — grows more chilling as you absorb the rest of the album’s nuances and shadows....And while the songs on “Magic” characteristically avoid explicit topical references, there is no mistaking that the source of the unease is, to a great extent, political.
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
After wrapping himself in a thousand fiddles on The Seeger Sessions, Springsteen has rediscovered the boardwalk-dance-party power of Born to Run.... But Springsteen’s songwriting here is also intricately wired with outrage and disbelief.
Entertainment Weekly - Chris Willman
Magic [is] his best record since The River in 1980.... Three and a half decades into his career, Bruce Springsteen is back in the masterpiece business. Grade: A
Billboard - Jeff Vrabel
In all, a pretty great return to form.
Toronto Star - Greg Quill
Springsteen's first album with the E Street Band since 2002 is filled with the epic guitars-and-sax and pounding drums that exemplify their classic style.... Magic evokes a world on the brink of chaos, a civilization lost to Bush's "mistake," and the end of the American Dream.

Product Details

Release Date:


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bruce Springsteen   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Guitar,Harmonica,Percussion,Glockenspiel,Vocals,Background Vocals,Pump Organ
Nils Lofgren   Guitar,Background Vocals
Clarence Clemons   Saxophone,Background Vocals
Patti Scialfa   Background Vocals
Roy Bittan   Organ,Piano
Danny Federici   Organ,Keyboards
Garry Tallent   Bass
Soozie Tyrell   Violin
Patrick Warren   chamberlain,Tack Piano
Max Weinberg   Drums
Amy Chang   Viola
John Meisner   Violin
Jay Christy   Violin
Daniel Laufer   Cello
Jeremy Chatzky   Upright Bass
Justin Burns   Violin
Tania Maxwell Clements   Viola
Charae Krueger   Cello
Christopher Pulgram   Violin
Karen Freer   Cello
Sheela Lyengar   Violin
Lachlan McBane   Viola
William Pu   Violin
Olga Shpitko   Violin
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band   Performer

Technical Credits

Nick DiDia   Engineer
Brendan O'Brien   Producer
Toby Scott   Engineer
Billy Bowers   Engineer
Christopher Austopchuk   Art Direction
Shari Sutcliffe   String Contractor
Harry McCarthy   Contributor
Eddie Horst   String Arrangements
Michelle Holme   Art Direction
Patti Horst   String Contractor

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Magic 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
On his new album Magic, Bruce Springsteen assembles the E-Street Band for the first time since The Rising, his epic response to the events of September 11th. Brendan O'Brian who helmed The Rising and the solo, mostly-acoustic follow-up Devils and Dust once again produces. Magic finds the Boss righteously pissed off about the current state of affairs,..Mr. Bush, the war in Iraq, and what he sees as the dubious politics that surround them. And so he delivers his sentiments with the usual nuance and good taste, the difference this time around is sonic. Springsteen taps influences not heard prominently since 1980's The River,..The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. The style and vocabulary of mid-60's pop music is heard often on Magic. The first-track Radio Nowhere is a no-holds barred rock song that channels The Clash, Nirvana, and the current Indie Rock movement, "The Killers, The Hold Steady, etc.", that worships Bruce. You''ll Be Comin' Down suggests a more muscular version of the Byrds while Livin' In The Future is a subtle anti-Bush rap veiled in a homage to Tenth Avenue Freeze Out. The Girls In Their Summer Clothes and You're Own Worst Enemy invoke the glorious production style of Brian Wilson. I'll Work For Your Love is both Dylan-influenced and Springsteen-influenced if that makes sense. The lyrics recall both Mr. Zimmerman and Beatnik Bruce circa Greetings From Asbury Park with a piano straight out of Thunder Road. Last To Die, Devils Arcade, and Gypsy Biker are overtly political meditations on the cost of living in a country at war. The Long Walk Home is a new Springsteen classic that recalls My Hometown and My City of Ruins. With its chill-inducing lyrics and mournful but hopeful sentiments, it neatly sums up the many themes of the album. With the exception of Girls In Their Summer Clothes, Bruce's lyrics are more political than ever but are often cleverly masked with a shimmering, joyous pop-sound. This is a fine companion to The Rising as Springsteen addresses the state of the union six years after it was shaken to its core.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read the many reviews on Bruce's latest effort, I'm struck by something that seems to have escaped every rock critic on the planet. Sure, they'll tell you how behind the bright and sunny up-tempo melodies, there lies a dirtier, more frightening story to be told. And they never fail to mention how the Boss hasn't left his politics out of this record. Even that the title of the album itself is a tease and that Bruce is still as surly and cranky as ever. And they're right on all counts. However, this album fits on the shelf directly next to Darkness, The River, and Tunnel of Love. The Boss has managed to dig up what's left of his tattered rock'n'roll heart and bleed for us once again. There is passion to spare here and the E Street Band hasn't sounded this enthusiastic and down right firey in 20 plus years. This record is living proof that the Boss still cares about you, your country, your town, your family, and I whole heartedly believe him when he sings "I'll Work For Your Love", even if he already has it. Thanks Boss...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Magic is truly magic. The meldies are beautiful. the lyrics are fantastic. Bruce and the band are in top form. It's a Masterpiece and every one should get it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For true Springsteen fans (Born To Run or The Ghost of Tom Joad), new fans (The Rising), or fans who only like old Bruce (nothing after The River), this is the album you have been waiting for. This is a true rock 'n' roll album. The entire band (Roy, Max, Danny, Clarence, Gary, Nils, Steven, Patty, Bruce, and even Soozie on violin) are back and sound like it's sometime between 1975 & 1980. There are songs that sound like they were leftovers from, Born To Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River, Nebraska, and even The Rising. There's a new story line to listen to and follow along on records (CD's). Listen to them this way: 1) Greetings & Wild 2) Born To Run, Darkness, River, Tunnel, & Magic. 3) Nebraska, Ghost, & Devils 4) USA & Rising 5) LIVE, Seeger, & Dublin 6) Touch & Town This is the life of Bruce Springsteen & the 'E' Street Band. Magic could be, I hope not though, their send off.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album is the best of 2007. not a bad song on it. radio nowhere will rock your socks off. its head-bangin' fun. devil's arcade is brilliant and haunting. this one will be played for a long time. the boss is back and better than ever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At this point in Springsteen’s career, it’s time he has taken over the control of his production, either that or fire the person in charge (probably Landau) of his projects. There’s a chance I’m wrong and this muddy mess was really his intention so if I’m wrong, you have my apologies Mr. Landau. With technological studio advances over the past quarter century, there is no excuse for a CD from a major artist to sound this bad. Compared to this assault on my senses, the tape hiss of the Elvis Sun sessions would be a welcome sound. It can’t be for the lack of money because Bruce has a billion dollars so it must be a sub par team of producers and engineers so if Bruce refuses to let go of these people out of friendship then Bruce has his priorities listed incoherently. Bad sound aside, let’s discuss lyrics, sorry Bruce, this is your domain so would you mind sharing with us why lines are repeated to the point of physical illness? I listen to this CD and for the life of me I know I’m NOT listening to one of the great story tellers in American pop culture history. The fans that are comparing this to Darkness or the River need to go give those classics another listen because I did and believe me, this is not even close. When you think about it, there is no harm in admitting that Bruce peaked creatively in that era gone by, it happens to every artist. Townsend peaked on Who’s Next and since then he has glimmers of greatness but even he knows it’s nowhere near his peak. There are many others, too numerous to list but you get my point. Now, does Bruce fill a void in our lives, of course we need him on the concert stage as he sings, “we are ready to grow young again.” Yes, for an investment of $100 we purchase 2 hours and 15 minutes of our youth, complete with fists pumping and beer guzzling, that’s it, nothing more. If you don’t believe me, take a good long look at the mini vans in the parking lot, it looks like a dealership for crying out loud. You’re not taking the backstreets through jungleland, you have to be home before the babysitter charges you double past midnight for heaven’s sake! Okay, so in closing let me say that when I saw Bruce at Giants stadium for the 21st time, on my 40th birthday for the Rising tour, I stopped getting it, I’m not saying I’m right and that you should have the same awakening, I’m just saying I knew Bruce was over for me. I was there for every tour with that glazed over pirates of the caribbean look in my eyes but my fascination came to a close.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't say I've seen Bruce in concert as many times as some folks. For some of us the cd is all we have and yeah there are alot of minivans in the parking lots. I'm not sure what that has to do with music or this cd. "Magic" to my ears is a return to late 70's early 80's sound Bruce and the band created filtered through a man standing firm in the 21st century. Instant classics "Radio Nowhere", "You'll be comin' down" "Girls in their Summer Clothes" "Last to Die" and "Long Walk Home". Unlike "The Rising" the songs don't seem to be reaching out for unattainable heights. Sure there was growth in "The Rising" and I love that cd. However I think this one's even better. So unless you're a cynical N.Y. musician you'll love this music. It is "Magic" afterall
Guest More than 1 year ago
First: it´s awsome. I bought Magic as LP " yes, those big black things " and now it´s been spinning around three days and the songs are getting alive. If you´re looking for The River or something else from the past you´ll be disapointted cause there is a 57 not 27 -years old storyteller telling stories in this record. And no way could Bruce have been able to write songs like Radio to nowhere or Long walk home back in 80´s. Listen for example Radio to nowhere: You can feel the pain and fear in the voice of that man in the car. Something is coming and you can´t help it, you´re try to get a connection but at the end you´re alone and you know whatever you´ll do you have to meet it. You know it cause you´re 57. But before that : Let´s hear those thounsand guitars and lets feel the rhythym.. This is a great record and great songs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My review of Magic is down below for those interested. I just wanted to comment on the review written by "NY Musician". I read reviews, both professional and consumer-written in the hope that critique is "alive out there" as Bruce would say. I hope to gain some new insight or spin on the material as a music fan. The review by NY Musician seems less a commentary on Bruce Springsteen's new album and more a bitter diatribe on getting older. I am in my mid-30's and have loved Bruce for 25 years. I've seen dozens of his shows and still enjoy them. If you look around the parking lot as he says, you will see not just family mini-vans but many younger fans from teens to twenties who are just as excited as he once was. Springsteen is a master storyteller and performer, but times have changed and there's different stories to tell. I love hearing the Stones sing Satisfaction for the zillionth time, but I see Bruce as an artist who is still relevant and involving, still an artist in transition. I enjoy the Seeger Sessions and Magic as much as I enjoy hearing Darkness or The River because it is Bruce NOW. The pleasure is having him and his talent still with us. I would love to hear more insight into the music in these reviews and not just blanket statements about the artist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bruce is ever evolving. Growing with us and the times we live in. This is an outstanding achievement! Not a bad song on the album. he is a master storyteller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan for years. This is it though. The Stones know how to keep going, he doesn't. It's just bad lyrics and music. He can still tour. He just needs to stick to his hits from the past. No tracks on this CD stand out in any way. It's time he stopped making new CDs because he knows he has a lot of fans who feel he can do no wrong.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Plain and simple : I love this CD . Give it a listen and I'm sure you will agree that the Boss still rocks . Some of the "old" sounds some new directions...all of them are exceptional . I especially love "Devil's Arcade" . It grows on you and stays with you .
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've played this CD in my car nonstop since I bought the album the day it came out. Cranking it up loud is the best with the windows vibrating. Though I haven't been a huge fan of his work in the early 2000's (except for The Rising), this CD rocks!!!! I can only hope that Bruce and the band keep it going like this and put out a few more albums similar to this! He rocked on the Today show some weeks ago and he deserves his place at #1. Way to go!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Been waiting a long time for music this good to come along. Just a great CD. Period.
Guest More than 1 year ago
yeah, I got caught up in the "Born to Run" hype of my youth. But that was more about buying the hype. That said, there are several songs over the years that I have enjoyed. This CD brings out all those qualities. Deep thought provoking lyrics, rich and easy instrumentals, all blended so none out weigh the others. From first hearing this CD I knew I wanted it, I knew I liked it. After 3 weeks it has not been out of my player.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bruce continues to evolve as a songwriter, musician and activist. Every song is full of emotion and hits you somewhere. His tribute song to his friend Terry's memory is incredibly beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved Springsteen in the seventies, but I'm older and wiser now. His whole "poet of the streets" schtick sells quite well, and I agree that working people have a tough time in an economically cruel America. But Steinbeck said it better. Bruce has never been anything but derivative, blending Elvis, Dylan & Co. Bruce emerged nationally in '73, so he missed out on the big bucks that Dylan, Fogerty and the Airplane made off Vietnam. Iraq was just what Bruce needed. Now he can exploit the war. He'll probably make more off this war than Dick Cheney! Please, please, enough with the hypocrisy of this pretentious and posturing multi-millionaire!